Jeanne M. Gavish wrote a great featured post today about how long real estate agents should be taking to respond to online customer inquiries. You can read her post here.
As Jeanne pointed out, studies find that most consumers expect a response to their queries pretty much immediately -- so that's what I try to do. Unless I am out with a client looking at homes, writing an offer or taking a new listing, I will answer the phone, respond to emails on my Blackberry or reply to text messages.
I call that philosophy "Phoneitude," and wrote about it last year in this post. It's the attitude you take toward your phone -- is it an important tool or an annoyance. I consider it my most important tool for getting all of my messages right away. Some consider it an irritation or an interruption. My take on it? Come on, interrupt me. That's what I am here for.
Today I put that theory into good use. I checked my messages while waiting for a buyer to show up at a home they were considerating and saw that an email query had just come in on one of my listings. I had a choice: wait until I was through for my appointments for the day, email the customer or call her.
I still had a bit of time to kill so I called. She answered immediately, was shocked that I called so fast while she was still sitting in front of her computer, and was eager to talk with me about her housing needs.
This family is moving back to St. Louis' Illinois suburbs in late summer and we'll be looking for homes during a scouting trip they'll be making at the end of June. Because I called, she now has help with the daunting task of finding a new home from afar and I have the opportunity to help another family settle in to their new lives. Now that's a win-win.
To add to the studies about response time, I have found responding just by email to queries like this is much less effective than a simple phone call. I don't understand why as I personally love the precision of communicating via email -- but it's been my experience that most people still prefer an old-fashioned chat. The phone seems to help them establish a rapport with me and helps me understand as much as possible about their needs.
When I just email in response to a question, i get about a 75 percent "no response" rate.
Bottom line? If you text me, I'll text you back. If you email me, I will email you back. But if you send a query and leave a phone number, you can bet that I will be calling.
The next ring you hear will be me.
Enjoy life in the (618) area code in Southwestern Illinois, St. Louis' Illinois suburbs. SEARCH FOR HOMES HERE.
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I help good people buy and sell good homes in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs, with special emphasis on the Metro East communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy and surrounding areas in Madison County, Illinois.
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For more information or to search for homes, visit my sites at NancyMilton.com, 618Life.com, or GoshenRealtyGroup.com or send an email to me at Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com. Text or call Nancy Milton Holtzscher, your Edwardsville Realtor, at 618-791-8007 any time.
REMAX Preferred Partners is located at One 157 Center, Edwardsville, IL 62025, 618-791-8007 (direct) 618-655-1188 (office). We're easy to find on IL-157 in Edwardsville between Pasta House Co. and Shenanigans. Each office is independently owned and operated.